Controlled Flight into the Ground

  • and excessive fire fighting are all warning signs of controlled flight into the ground. 
  • Gain Altitude– Immediately establish a safety margin for your project and gain some breathing room. This will probably require taking a hit either with your management or your customer, or both. Explain the problem and the steps needed to bring the project back under control. 
  • Regain Situational Awareness– Gather all of the necessary metrics to establish the big picture. Meet with team members, both individually and as a group, to determine the meaning of these metrics. 
  • Establish a New Flight Plan– Establish a new plan to complete the project. Be sure to include adequate time for maintaining your situational awareness. Get buy-in for the plan from the team, your management, and your customer.  

There is little point in collecting project data if you're not using it to regularly and actively control your project. This will only benefit whoever replaces you. If you are not going to use project data to proactively address problems, then the time spent collecting data could be better spent fighting the fires that will inevitably break out. It's like the old saw about teaching the pig to dance–it's frustrating to you and annoying to the pig.

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